HEALTH CARE FACT SHEET by dox21414

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									                         HEALTH CARE FACT SHEET
                                 Walking

Issue statement
        More than 60 percent of all adults in the United States do not engage in
        the recommended amount of physical activity. This lack of regular physical
        exercise can lead to illness and chronic diseases that cost billions of
        dollars in health care costs each year. In fact, increasing regular moderate
        physical activity among the more than 88 million inactive Americans over
        the age of 15 might reduce annual healthcare costs by as much as $76.6
        billion. Regular, brisk walking is one of the simplest and safest forms of
        physical exercise. A regular walking program can help control weight,
        condition the heart and lungs, strengthen bones, and help control the cost
        of health care.


Key facts, national statistics
              More than 60 percent of adults in the United States do not engage in
               the recommended amount of physical activity, and approximately 25
               percent of American adults are not active at all. (U.S Department of
               Health and Human Services, “Physical Activity and Health: A Report of
               the Surgeon General,” 1996.)
              When done briskly on a regular basis, walking can have many positive
               impacts on health, including:
                  Decreasing the risk of a heart attack – Walking helps lower low-
                   density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol) and raise
                   high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ("good" cholesterol).
                   Regular exercise can also help keep your blood pressure in check,
                   and reduces your risk of blood clots and irregular heartbeats. (Mayo
                   Foundation for Medical Education and Research, "Walking for
                   Fitness, Taking Steps in the Right Direction," December 19, 2002.)
                  Reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes – For individuals
                   with type 2 diabetes, regular exercise may help decrease the
                   amount of insulin or other medications needed to control their


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                   condition. (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research,
                   "Walking for Fitness, Taking Steps in the Right Direction,"
                   December 19, 2002.)
                  Helping to control weight – Taking a brisk, one-hour walk burns
                   approximately 400 calories for the average person. (Mayo
                   Foundation for Medical Education and Research, "Walking for
                   Fitness, Taking Steps in the Right Direction," December 19, 2002.)
                  Improving muscle tone – Walking leads to lean, toned muscles, and
                   keeps bones and joints in shape, minimizing the effects of
                   osteoporosis and arthritis. (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education
                   and Research, "Walking for Fitness, Taking Steps in the Right
                   Direction," December 19, 2002.)
              Walking is the only exercise in which the rate of participation does not
               decline in the middle and later years. In a national survey, the highest
               percentage of regular walkers for any group (39.4%) was found among
               men 65 years of age and older. (President’s Council on Physical
               Fitness and Sports.)
              Walking burns approximately the same amount of calories per mile as
               does running. For example, walking briskly for one mile in 15 minutes
               burns about the same number of calories as jogging an equal distance
               in 8.5 minutes. (President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.)
              In weight-bearing activities like walking, heavier individuals will burn
               more calories than lighter persons. For example, studies show that a
               110-pound person burns about half as many calories as a 216-pound
               person walking at the same pace for the same distance. (President’s
               Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.)
              Recent studies show that there are residual benefits to vigorous
               exercise. For a period of time after a dynamic workout, such as brisk
               walking, metabolism remains elevated above normal, which results in
               additional calories burned. (President’s Council on Physical Fitness
               and Sports.)
              Obesity increases a person’s risk for negative health consequences,
               and affects more people than does smoking or heavy drinking.


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               Approximately 23 percent of Americans are obese and another 36
               percent are overweight. By contrast, 6 percent are heavy drinkers and
               19 percent are daily smokers. (Rand Health, "The Effects of Obesity,
               Smoking and Problem Drinking on Chronic Medical Problems and
               Health Care Costs,” R. Strum, February 2002.)
              Going for a walk is a great way to reduce stress and promote an
               overall sense of wellness. Regular walking can reduce feelings of
               depression and anxiety as well. (Mayo Foundation for Medical
               Education and Research, December 2002.)
              Increasing regular, moderate physical activity among the more than 88
               million inactive Americans over the age of 15 might reduce annual
               health care costs by as much as $76.6 billion. (U.S. Department of
               Health and Human Services, “Physical Activity Fundamental to
               Preventing Disease,” 2002.)
              In 1995, health care costs attributed to obesity amounted to an
               estimated $99 billion. In 2000, that number rose to $117 billion, an
               increase of 18 percent. (U.S. Department of Health and Human
               Services, “Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease
               Overweight and Obesity,” 2001.)
              Physical inactivity can lead to chronic diseases and conditions like
               heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and
               osteoporosis. Health care costs related to these conditions total more
               than $600 billion nationally. (U.S. Department of Health and Human
               Services, “Physical Activity Fundamental to Preventing Disease,”
               2002.)
              Obesity is costing more than smoking, drinking or poverty.
               Obesity is associated with a 36 percent increase in health spending,
               more than smoking (21 percent) and drinking (14 percent). (Rand
               Health, "The Effects of Obesity, Smoking and Problem Drinking on
               Chronic Medical Problems and Health Care Costs,” R. Strum, February
               2002.)
              Obese individuals spend 77 percent more on medications. Only aging
               has a greater effect on medication spending. (Rand Health, "The



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               Effects of Obesity, Smoking and Problem Drinking on Chronic Medical
               Problems and Health Care Costs,” R. Strum, February 2002.)
              Obese individuals suffer from a 67 percent increase in chronic
               diseases, higher than smoking (25 percent), drinking (12 percent) or
               poverty (58 percent). (Rand Health, "The Effects of Obesity, Smoking
               and Problem Drinking on Chronic Medical Problems and Health Care
               Costs,” R. Strum, February 2002.)
              Being obese is equivalent to aging 20 years. (Rand Health, "The
               Effects of Obesity, Smoking and Problem Drinking on Chronic Medical
               Problems and Health Care Costs,” R. Strum, February 2002.)


Statements from key facts
              We can all make everyday choices to be more physically active—to
               take the stairs instead of the elevator, to walk the dog instead of
               watching television, to walk to the subway instead of getting dropped
               off.
              Walking is one of the simplest, safest and most effective ways to get
               regular exercise. When done briskly on a regular basis, walking can
               reduce blood pressure, increase the efficiency of the heart and lungs,
               boost bone strength, and help burn excess calories.
              Talk with your doctor to devise a regular walking program that works
               for you, one that is tailored to your physical condition and lifestyle.
              Use a pedometer to track and help you increase the number of steps
               you take every day.


Editorial copy, utilizing the statistics and statements, for newsletters,
advertorials and other Plan-written pieces


        Stairs or escalator? Park close to the door or at the far end of the parking
        lot? We can all make everyday choices to be more physically active—to
        take an after-dinner walk with your family instead of watching television, to
        walk to the subway instead of getting dropped off. We don’t have to set


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        aside a big part of our busy day to achieve real results. One of the best
        ways is to simply walk more at every opportunity. With America spending
        more than ever on preventable health problems like obesity, heart disease
        and diabetes, every step counts. In fact, it is estimated that increasing
        regular, moderate physical activity among the more than 88 million
        inactive Americans over the age of 15 might reduce annual health care
        costs by as much as $76.6 billion.


        According to the U.S. Surgeon General, more than 60 percent of adults in
        the United States do not engage in the recommended amount of physical
        activity, and approximately 25 percent of American adults are not active at
        all. Physical inactivity can lead to chronic diseases and conditions like
        heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis and
        osteoporosis. Health care costs related to these conditions total more than
        $600 billion nationally.


        Walking is one of the simplest, safest and most effective ways to get
        regular exercise. When done briskly on a regular basis, walking can
        reduce blood pressure, increase the efficiency of the heart and lungs,
        boost bone strength, and help burn excess calories. In fact, walking briskly
        for one mile in 15 minutes burns about the same number of calories as
        jogging an equal distance in 8.5 minutes. And walking an extra 20 minutes
        each day will burn off 7 pounds of body fat per year. With each step you
        take, you will be helping to prevent chronic health conditions. That’s
        important to everyone, because America is spending more than ever on
        health problems that can be prevented.


        We all have a role to play in keeping health care affordable. Because we
        all pay for the rising cost of healthcare through increased premiums,
        copays and deductibles, we all have a stake in this. So talk with your
        doctor to develop a walking program that’s right for you. It will keep you
        healthier, which in turn can help control the rising cost of healthcare. Visit
        www.bcbstx.com for more ways each of us can help keep healthcare
        affordable.


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Marketing tie-ins
              National Physical Fitness and Sports Month: May
              National Running and Fitness Week: May
              The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports:
               www.fitness.gov




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